Pennsylvania's politically split Supreme Court is considering a challenge to a lower court ruling that upheld the state's polarizing voter identification law.
The law requires a state-issued photo ID card to vote, and supporters say it will help prevent voter fraud. Voting-rights activists have now shifted strategies from attempting to overturn the law, to instead putting up to a million state-issued photo ID cards in the hands of residents.
State officials recently estimated it is possible nearly 200,000 Philadelphia residents alone don't have proper ID.
We've heard much about big money pouring into some of the congressional races around the country, and now some of that money is breathing new life into the campaign of one unlikely candidate.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of books such as Kosher Sex and Kosher Jesus, and the host of Shalom in the Home, a reality show that worked with struggling couples, is running for Congress in New Jersey's 9th District.
Boteach is hoping to unseat Democrat Bill Pascrell in a district that is overwhelmingly Democratic.
Originally published on Fri September 21, 2012 9:29 am
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the Iranian nuclear program was "in the last 20 yards," and denied he was taking sides in the U.S. presidential election.
"They're in the last 20 yards, and you can't let them cross that goal line. You can't let them score a touchdown," he said Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press. "Because that would have unbelievable consequences, grievous consequences for the peace and security of us all."
Originally published on Sun September 16, 2012 6:36 am
LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.
With about 50 days to go before Election Day, both parties are focusing on what will lead them to victory in both the battle for the White House, as well as control in Congress. What everyone seems to agree upon is that the Latino vote will be crucial. Between 2000 and 2010, the Hispanic population in the U.S. increased by some 43 percent. Latino voters can mean the difference in several states.
Originally published on Mon September 17, 2012 6:52 am
Even before the final balloons fell on the Republican and Democratic conventions, pundits were talking up the next big American political viewing experience — the presidential debates.
These match-ups, in which candidates actually share a stage after months of bruising one another from far range, can lead to moments of rhetorical brilliance, or the opposite — getting caught off-guard and making a gaffe.
Campaigns today are collecting information that goes way beyond demographics. Data points as disparate as the catalogs you peruse or the car you drive all make up a picture that campaigns use to find common ground with their candidates — and get you to the voting booth.
Journalist Sasha Issenberg describes this data-driven world in his new book, The Victory Lab. There were two "major innovations" that spurred the modern approach to voter outreach, he tells Weekend Edition guest host Linda Wertheimer.
Congress roared into town last week after a five-week break. Lawmakers will be heading back home just as quickly this week. They're expected to complete exactly one big item before pulling the plug on this briefest of sessions: a stopgap spending measure that keeps the government from shutting down during the next six months.
Members of both parties prefer tackling the mountain of unfinished business they leave behind only after the November election.
The Obama administration often talks about its strong bonds with Israel, but relations between the two leaders don't look that way at all.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Obama administration openly clashed over Iran this week. The White House also announced that President Obama would not have time to meet Netanyahu when the Israeli prime minister is in the U.S. later this month.
The two men did have a lengthy phone conversation, but some say what they really need is a marriage counselor.
As we approach the presidential election in November, Weekend Edition is seeking your questions about issues and candidates in a new segment called Reporter Hotline. This week, we answer inquiries about foreign policy and U.S. involvement in the Middle East and Afghanistan.
In this election, Christian conservatives seem to be more against President Obama than they are for Mitt Romney. But they do like GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, who used a speech Friday to vouch for Romney.
At the annual gathering of religious conservatives in Washington, D.C., there was also talk of this week's violence in the Middle East.
The Values Voter Summit got under way first thing Friday morning, with a speech from Tony Perkins, whose Family Research Council organizes this event.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says President Obama's foreign policies have sent "confusing messages" to the world. The critique argues that the Obama foreign policy is not muscular enough. It's a message that echoes the presidential campaign of 1980 when Ronald Reagan challenged Jimmy Carter.
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 2:11 pm
Along with political agendas and visions for the future, every once in a while along the campaign trail there are potential TMI moments.
Arguably, one occurred Friday when Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, were taping ABC's Live! With Kelly and Michael in New York.
The interview is scheduled to air Tuesday. But notes from a pool reporter traveling with Romney show what happens when an invited White House guest — in this case Ann Romney — decides to do some poking around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Originally published on Fri September 14, 2012 2:31 pm
Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan used an appearance at an annual gathering of his party's social conservatives Friday to pointedly criticize President Obama's foreign policy record and to testify to his own Catholic faith and opposition to abortion.
"We're all in this together," said Ryan, a representative from Wisconsin, echoing a theme of Obama's convention speech. "It has a nice ring."
During the Republican debates, Mitt Romney told a moderator "You get to ask the questions you want. I get to give the answers I want." Social psychologist Todd Rogers talks about how likely voters are to notice a subtle dodge. James Fowler joins to discuss whether social media can send more people to the polls.
In an election that's supposed to be about the economy, tragic deaths overseas push foreign policy onto the political stage in the race between Mitt Romney and President Obama. While Romney seems to have lost the initial battle, questions remain about the administration's Middle East goals.
Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest "It's All Politics" roundup.
At the rate we're going, there may be plenty of news before those debates. Today, the White House is expected to release a list of budget cuts totaling about $100 billion. At the end of last year's debt ceiling battle, Congress voted to either agree on deficit reductions or these big automatic across-the-board cuts known as sequestration would go into affect. They didn't agree, so here we are.
As NPR's David Welna reports, many Republicans who voted for sequestration now oppose it.
Originally published on Thu September 13, 2012 3:41 pm
Appearing in Virginia on Thursday, Republican Mitt Romney tried to bring his campaign back to the issues he has focused on before in the swing state: the nation's economy and strengthening the military.
A day after Romney ignited a debate over his criticism of President Obama's handling of events in Libya and Egypt, the Republican presidential nominee largely steered clear of discussing unrest in Egypt and the attack on an American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that left four Americans dead.
Two decisions this week could make voting easier in the crucial swing state of Florida. One involves early voting, the other deals with the state's controversial effort to purge non-citizens from its voter registration rolls.
NPR's Pam Fessler has updates on both.
PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: Florida voting laws have been the subject of a lot of litigation this year and this is unlikely to be the end. But the warring parties have managed to find some common ground.
President Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, are both campaigning today in pivotal battleground states. Mr. Obama is in Colorado. Romney's in Virginia. The economy remains a central focus for the two men, but that's been overshadowed in the last 48 hours by events in the Middle East.
We'll hear from the Romney campaign in a moment. First, NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley joins us from Golden, Colorado. Hi there, Scott.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Audie.
Washington, D.C., is one of the most heavily Democratic places in the country. But some of its suburbs are in the swing state that both parties are fighting hard for. Mitt Romney campaigned in Northern Virginia today and NPR's Ari Shapiro reports they can't say its rally gave a clear indication of whom he's trying to win over in this community.
ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: Before Mitt Romney took the stage, people crowded the bleachers behind the podium. All but three of them were women.